Some data suggests that tax fraud is declining in response
to increased security from the IRS and private entities, but that doesn’t mean hackers
have given up hope! Beware of the following tax scams this tax season.
Do not fall for scam phone calls where the caller pretends
to be the IRS – this includes voicemails! Mobile phone service providers have
gotten better at marking spam calls, but that does not prevent scammers from
leaving voicemail messages. Some may request sensitive information while others
request wire transfers. Remember that the IRS relies on traditional mail, not
phone calls or emails.
Phishing remains the weapon of choice for scammers. In phishing emails, hackers pose as legitimate organizations such as banks, credit card companies or government organizations. According to the FTC, a typical consumer who is tricked by an IRS phishing email loses $1,000 in the scam. Remember the red flags of phishing.
According to the IRS, almost 54% of taxpayers use a paid tax preparer. Do your research and use a credible tax partner or service. Ask your accountant what cybersecurity data precautions they have in place. You are the customer, and you have a right to know!
Protect your Information
Do not give out any personal information over the phone or email, and remember that should the IRS need to contact you, they will reach out through mail.
If you have any sensitive, tax documentation on your computer, remember to delete it after use. For example, if you download tax documents from myBama, remember to delete the file from your downloads folder after printing or storing in a secure environment. Review additional cybersecurity tips on the OIT website, and contact the IT Service Desk if you have any questions.